Console storefronts can be a pain, even when you want to buy a game. Microsoft’s Xbox Store has copped the most flak since launch, but it’s getting a complete rework ahead of the next generation.
In a new blog post, Microsoft revealed the updated storefront that is being rolled out to Xbox Insiders this week. It’s very reminiscent of the Xbox app on PC, with faster loadtimes and a darker skin that better highlights individual games.
According to Microsoft, the store page now loads in “under two seconds” and the overall browsing performance is much faster. Search has been redesigned, the Wish List has been revamped and it’s easier to browse “backward compatible Xbox 360 and original Xbox titles” for those who want classics.
The new experience is rolling out to Xbox Insiders from tomorrow internationally. All Xbox users will receive the new Store sometime this autumn, and I’d be surprised if it wasn’t the default experience for the Xbox Series X when that launches later this year.
Microsoft also outlined that content filters will apply across the store. That means anyone using a child account won’t be able to view Cyberpunk 2077, for instance, making life easier for parents or caregivers to control what can and can’t be viewed.
The revamped dashboard has rows for upcoming games, Xbox Game Pass titles, with rows for movies and TV series appearing underneath that. It’s the third official version of the Xbox store, coming from the Xbox 360 and the original Xbox One design.
Microsoft adds that the new Store is “just the first of many updates we’re rolling out in the coming weeks”. It’s likely that the Xbox dashboard will be getting some kind of overhaul as well before the Xbox Series X launches. And with any luck, the speed improvements made to Microsoft’s Xbox Store can be replicated elsewhere.